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Publication numberUS3557747 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 26, 1971
Filing dateMay 19, 1969
Priority dateMay 19, 1969
Also published asCA918111A1
Publication numberUS 3557747 A, US 3557747A, US-A-3557747, US3557747 A, US3557747A
InventorsLuciano Robert A, Rigney William R
Original AssigneeOrtho Pharma Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tablet dispenser
US 3557747 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Assignee Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation a corporation of New Jersey TABLET DISPENSER 8 Claims, 9 Drawing Figs.

US. Cl 116/121, 206/42, 221/86 Int. Cl 865d 83/04 Field of Search 221/2, 7,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,297,198 1/1967 Wright,.lr 221/5 3,495,567 2/1970 Hayes et al 206/42 Primary Examiner-William Tl Dixson, Jr. Attorneys-Nicholas A. Gallo, Ill and Robert L. Minier ABSTRACT: A tablet dispenser having a tablet ring rotatably mounted with respect to both the cover and the base, the cover and tablet ring being initially joined to permit joint rotational movement with respect to the base. The cover and tablet ring are rotated until a time reference indicator is registered with an indicia of time representing the day on which the first tablet is to be taken. The first tablet to be taken underlies the tablet access area of the cover when the cover and tablet ring are joined, After initial setting of the dispenser the interconnection between the cover and the tablet ring is broken to permit rotation of the cover with respect to the tablet ring and sequential dispensing of the tablets.

TABLET DISPENSER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It has become the general practice in the treatment of patients to prescribe that medication be taken in accordance with a fairly rigid time schedule. This is particularly true in the case of oral contraceptives where the user must strictly adhere to a schedule of use which is determined by the users individual menstrual cycle. Failure to adhere to the prescribed schedule of use will generally result in the failure of the medication to induce the physiological effect on which contraception is based.

In order to assist users of oral contraceptives in following the prescribed regimen, oral contraceptives in following the prescribed regimen, oral contraceptive tablets are generally packaged in dispensers which permit the user to determine immediately on any given day of the week whether a tablet was in fact taken on that day. This is most often accomplished by associating an empty or occupied tablet position an indicia representing the particular day of the week involved. Most often such dispensers are provided in the form of a disc with the tablets located at spaced positions around the periphery of the same. Typical of tablet dispensers of this type are those described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,143,207 and 3,227,127.

In the tablet dispensers described in each of those patents a tablet retaining cover is provided and the cover has a tablet access area. The cover is rotatable to register the tablet access area in turn with each tablet in the dispenser. lndicia representing moments in time at which tablets are to be taken are provided on a calendar element and are associatable with the tablets. At the beginning of the regimen, the user is instructed that the first tablet to be taken is to be aligned with the tablet access area and associated. with the indicia of time representing themoment in time at which that tablet is to be taken. From this point on, as the cover is rotated to register the tablet access area with the next tablet to be taken, the indicia of time representing the moment in time at which that tablet is to be taken is automatically associated with that tablet.

In the dispenser described in US. Pat. No. 3,143,207 each tablet is initially registered with a separate indicia of time. Thus, by rotating the cover the user simply exposes the next tablet to be taken as well as the indicia which has all along been associated with that tablet. Since each patient has a different physiological cycle it is necessary'to disassemble this dispenser and rotate the calendar disc with respect to the tablet disc so that the proper indicia are registered with the proper tablets as far as that particular patient is concerned. It is, of course, undesirable to disassemble such a dispenser since the tablets may be lost or damaged.

This problem is alleviated somewhat by the dispenser described in US. Pat. No. 3,227,127. In that dispenser a calendar element is provided which, instead of having a separate indicia for each tablet in the dispenser, simply has an indicia representing each moment in time at which medication is to be taken. The calendar element is rotatably mounted under the cover adjacent the tablet access area. The calendar element is geared into the base in such a manner that rotation of the cover causes the calendar element to rotate and causes each indicia in turn to become aligned with the tablet access area. Thus, in setting this dispenser initially so that the proper indicia of time is associated with the first tablet to be taken, it is only necessary to rotate the cover until such association is effected.

However, this dispenser is also not entirely satisfactory. There is no difficulty when utilizing the same with a combination" contraceptive regimen, a regimen in which the same dose is to be taken on each day. Thus, any tablet may act as the first tablet. In initially setting the dispenser, it is necessary at most to rotate the cover forward six positions until the date on which the particular patient is to take the first tablet is in fact associated with the tablet access area. In a "sequential" contraceptive regimen, however, difi'erent doses must be taken on different days during the cycle. Thus, rather than simply associating the indicia representing the first day in the particular patients cycle with the tablet access area, it is simultaneously necessary to associate the tablet access area with a particular tablet. This alignment is still possible when the number of tablets do not represent an even multiple of the number of indicia on the calendar element. If, for example, a ZO-tablet regimen is provided and a tablet is to be taken on each of the seven days of the week, each time the cover is rotated 360, a different indicia of time will be registered with a given tablet.

Thus, in the case ofa sequential regimen, in order to align the proper indicia with the first tablet to be taken it may be necessary to rotate the cover as many as six full turns. A more serious problem is encountered where the regimen contains 21 tablets, since no matter how many times the cover is rotated the same indicia will always register with a given tablet. In such an instance it is necessary to provide 22 tablet locations leaving one tablet location empty; but even then as many as six complete turns may be necessary to set" the initial tablet.

THE INVENTION These problems have now been eliminated by the dispensers of this invention, specifically by providing dispensers having a tablet disc which may be initially rotated with respect to the calendar element to set the dispenser by simply rotating the dispenser cover with respect to the base. The tablet access area of the cover is preferably initially positioned over the first tablet to be taken and the cover secured to the tablet disc in this position for joint rotational movement. Means are provided to subsequently disengage the cover and tablet disc so that it is thereafter impossible to rotate the tablet disc with respect to the calendar element. Since the tablet access area is in a known position with respect to the first tablet, the setting of the first tablet is no more difficult than in the case of a combination regimen when using prior art dispensers. In other words, it is only necessary to associate the tablet access area with the indicia representing the particular day on which the first tablet is to be taken.

All of the dispensers of this invention are of the type comprising a base; a tablet ring, having a series of individual tablet positions arranged circumferentially of the same, rotatably mounted on the base; and a cover rotatably mounted on the base, the cover having a tablet access area located radially from its axis of rotation a distance equal to the distance that the tablet positions are located from the point of rotation of the tablet disc. Thus, upon rotation of the cover with respect to the tablet ring the tablet access area is registered in turn with each tablet position. The cover of the dispenser also contains a time reference window and the dispenser also comprises a generally circular calendar element. The calendar element has on its surface, at circumferentially equally spaced positions, indicia of time in chronological order, at least one indicia representing each moment in a conventional cycle of time at which a tablet is to be taken. For each dispensing position of the cover with respect to the base, an indicia of time is registered with the time reference window of the cover, and as the cover is advanced to its next dispensing position the chronologically next indicia of time automatically registers with the time reference window. This movement" of the calendar element with respect to the tablet access area occurs at anytime that the cover is rotated with respect to the base whether or not the cover is rotated in conjunction with rotation of the tablet disc. Many methods of calendaring" a tablet dispenser in this manner are well known in the art, as, for example, represented by the patents cited heretofore, and do not represent part of this invention.

Thus, in using the dispenser, the cover is rotated until the indicia of time representing the moment in time at which the pa tient is to take the first tablet is registered with the time indicator window. At that point, the first tablet to be taken is already automatically registered with the tablet access area. The interconnection between the cover and the tablet disc is broken so that further rotation of the tablet disc is impossible. From this point on, the use of the dispenser will be the same as that of any other conventional dispenser.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of one embodiment of the dispensers of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the dispenser of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view in perspective of the dispenser of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a partial view in cross section of the dispenser of FIG. 1 taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a view in cross section of the dispenser of FIG. 1 taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a view in perspective, partially broken away, of another embodiment of the dispensers of this invention;

FIG. 7 is a view in cross section of the dispenser of FIG. 6 taken along lines 77 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a view in perspective, broken away, of a portion of still another embodiment of the dispensers of this invention;

FIG. 9 is a view in cross section of the dispenser of FIG. 8 taken along lines 9-9 of FIG. 8.

Referring now specifically to the drawings, the dispenser, ll, illustrated in FIGS. l-S, comprises a base, 2, a tablet ring, 3, rotatably mounted on the base, 2, and a cover, 4, rotatably mounted on the base, 2, on the same axis as the tablet ring, 3. Specifically, the cover, 4, is rotatably mounted on the base, 2, by virtue of molded spindle, 5, fitting into socket, 6. The tablet ring, 3, has a series of tablet positions, 7, arranged circumferentially of the tablet ring. The cover, 4, has a tablet access area, 8, located radially from the axis ,of rotation, 9, of the cover, 4, and tablet ring, 3, the same distance as the tablet positions, 7, of the tablet ring, 3, are located from said point of rotation. Thus, the tablet access area, 8, is registerable in turn with each individual tablet position, 7, as the tablet cover, 4, is rotated with respect to the tablet ring, 3. Ratchets, 10, are integrally molded on the base, 2, in a circular pattern concentric with the axis of rotation, 9, of the tablet ring. These ratchets, 10, interlock with opposite ratchets, 11, on the bottom of the tablet ring so' that the tablet ring may only be rotated in the clockwise direction and so that inadvertent rotation in the counterclockwise direction will be avoided.

A circular calendar element, 112, is also provided concentric with the axis of rotation, 9, of the tablet ring, 3, and the tablet cover, 4. The calendar element, 12, has on its surface, at circumferentially equally spaced locations, indicia of time, 113, arranged in chronological order. The indicia, 13, are so disposed with respect to the ratchets, 10, on the base, 2, and the tablet locations, 7, are so disposed with respect to the ratchets, 11, on the tablet ring, that one such indicia, I3, is aligned with each tablet location.

The cover, 4, also has a time reference window, 14, adjacent the tablet access area and located radially from the point of rotation, 9, a distance equal to the distance of the indicia, 13, of the calendar element, 12, from the point of rotation. When the cover, 4, is rotated to register the tablet access area, 8, in turn, with each of the tablet locations, 7, the time reference window, 14, will, in turn, register with the corresponding indicia, l3, representing the day on which the tablet is to be taken.

The tablet access area, 8, is initially closed by tab 15. The

tab, 15, has a projection, 116, on the underside thereof which cooperates initially with notch, 17, in the tablet ring, 3, so that the tablet ring and the cover are interconnected for mutual rotation with respect to the base, 2. The cover, 4, prevents direct access to the tablet ring, 3.

The projection, 16, and notch, 17, are located so that initially the tablet access area, 8, overlies the first tablet of the regimen which is to be taken by the patient. In use, the patient rotates the cover with respect to the base in the clockwise direction until the time indicating window, 14, overlies the day on which the first tablet of. the regimen is to be taken by the patient. By virtue of the interconnection of the cover with the tablet ring for mutual rotation with respect to the base, the first tablet to be taken will still underlie the tablet access area, 8.

The patient will then break away the tab, 15, to provide access to the first tablet. It is now possible to rotate the cover, 4, independently of the tablet ring, 3, and the cover 4, encloses the tablet ring, 3, to substantially prevent accidental rotation of the same. The tablet ring, 3, is intended to remain in this set" position during the taking of the remainder of the regimen. On each day, the patient will rotate the cover one position in the counterclockwise direction until the entire regimen has been taken. The time reference window in each case register with the indicia of time representing the day on which the tablet then underlying the tablet access area is to be taken.

Alternatively, the tablet access area may initially overlie any tablet as long as its numerical relation to the first tablet is known. The patient is then instructed to register with the time reference window the indicia representing the day similarly numerically removed from the day on which the first tablet is to be taken. The tab is then broken and the cover rotated counterclockwise the same number of positions to align the first tablet with the tablet access area and to align the time reference window with the indicia representing the day on which the first tablet is to be taken. It is particularly convenient to have the tablet access area initially overlie the tablet five positions removed from the first tablet since the first tablet is generally taken on the fifth day after the onset of menstruation. Thus, on the first day of menstruation the patient aligns the indicia representing that day with the time reference window. The patient then breaks the tab and advances the cover counterclockwise once each day. On the fifth day the dispenser will be properly aligned for the taking of the first tablet.

Referring now to the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the calendar element, 12b, is in the form of a gear wheel with one tooth for each day on which a tablet is to be taken. Indicia 13b, are disposed along the spokes of the gear wheel at circumferentially equally spaced locations. The calendar element, 12b, is rotatably mounted on a shaft, 20b, which in turn is attached to the base, 2b. A series of teeth, 21b, are integrally molded into the inner surface of a circular downward projection, 22b, of the cover, there being one tooth for each tablet location in the tablet ring and each tooth being aligned with a tablet position. Thus, initially, the patient is instructed to turn the cover of the dispenser in the clockwise direction, the cover and the tablet ring again being initially only mutually rotatable with respect to the base. Since the calendar element, 12b, is rotatably mounted in fixed position on the base, the resulting relative rotation of the cover with respect to the base causes the calendar element to rotate. The cover, 4b, is provided with a circular time reference indicator, 14b, which is concentric with the point of rotation, 9b, of the dispenser cover. The time reference indicator, 14b, is located radially from the point of rotation a distance equal to the distance of the gear teeth from the point of rotation. Thus, when a given tooth on the calendar element, 12b, is engaged between two of the gear teeth on the inner surface of the projection, 22b, the indicia disposed on that gear tooth will be visible through the time reference indicator, 14b. Since the tablet access area is in the cover and the calendar element is rotatably mounted in fixed position on the base, the indicia of time representing the day on which a given tablet is to be taken will not necessarily coincide with the tablet access area. After the dispenser is initially set, it is utilized in the same manner as the embodiment previously discussed.

Referring now to the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, the calendar element, 140, is in the same form as calendar element 14b, in the dispensers of FIGS. 8 and 9. However, the calendar element is rotatably mounted on the cover, 4, of the dispenser. Since the calendar element is rotatably mounted on the cover, the gearing projection, 22a, equivalent to that utilized in the dispenser illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9 is attached to the base.

We claim:

1. In a tablet dispenser of the type comprising a base; a tablet ring rotatably mounted on said base and having a series of tablet positions arranged circumferentially of the same; a cover rotatably mounted on said base on the same axis as said tablet ring; said cover having a tablet'access area located radially the same distance from said axis of rotation as said tablet positions of said tablet ring and which upon rotation of said cover with respect to said tablet ring is registerable in turn with each tablet location; and a calendar element having on its surface at circumferentially equally spaced locations indicia of time arranged in chronological order, at least one indicia of time representing each moment in time at which a tablet is to be taken, said cover also having a time reference indicator which upon rotation of the cover with respect to the base to register the tablet access area with the next tablet position is registered in turn with the next succeeding indicia at which a tablet is to be taken; the improvement comprising:

said cover and said tablet ring being interconnected for mutual rotation with respect to said base, said cover enclosing said tablet ring to substantially prevent direct rotata ble access to said tablet ring and said interconnection between said cover and said tablet ring providing indirect rotatable access to said tablet ring, said tablet access area of said cover being registered with or having a known spacial relationship to the tablet location for the first tablet to be taken; and

said interconnection between said cover and said tablet ring being breakable, whereby the cover and the tablet ring may be mutually rotated by rotation of the cover until a desired indicia is registered with the time reference indicator without disturbing the relative circumferential position of the tablet access area and the tablet ring, and whereby after said interconnection is broken, further rotation of the cover to register the next tablet to be taken with the tablet access area will cause the indicia representing the day on which that tablet is to be taken to become registered with the time reference indicator.

2v A tablet dispenser of claim 1 in which the calendar element is circular and is secured to said base adjacent to and concentric with the tablet ring and contains on its surface indicia equal in number to the number of tablet locations on said tablet ring, one indicia always being located immediately adjacent each tablet location.

3. A tablet dispenser of claim 2in which the time reference indicator is a window located on the same radial line of said cover as said tablet access area.

4. A tablet dispenser of claim 1 in which said tablet ring is rotatable only in one direction.

5. The tablet dispenser of claim 1 in which a closure tab integrally molded to the cover lies across the tablet access area.

6. The tablet dispenser of claim 5 in which said closure tab has a downward extending projection and said tablet ring has a notch to receive said projection, said projection'cooperating with said notch to provide the interconnection between the cover and the tablet ring, whereby when the tab is broken away to provide access to the first tablet the interconnection between the cover and the tablet ring will automatically be permanently broken.

7. The tablet dispenser of claim 1 also comprising a fixed gear ring lying inward of and concentric with the tablet ring and secured to the base, gear teeth being disposed on the inner surface of said gear ring and being equal in number to the number of tablet locations of said tablet ring,

said calendar element comprising a geared wheel engaged with said gear ring and rotatably mounted on said cover. 8. The tablet dispenser of claim I also comprising a fixed gear ring projecting downward from said cover inward of and concentric to said tablet ring, gear teeth being disposed on the inner surface of said gear ring and being equal in number to the number of tablet locations of said tablet ring,

said calendar element comprising a geared wheel engaged with said gear ring and rotatably mounted on said base.

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Referenced by
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US3743085 *Jan 4, 1971Jul 3, 1973Burt Co Inc FIndividual tablet dispensing package
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Classifications
U.S. Classification116/308, 221/86, 206/533
International ClassificationB65D83/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/0454, B65D2583/0409, B65D2101/00
European ClassificationB65D83/04C1